Types of visas in colombia for foreigners
August 01, 2022
Colombia has become one of the main tourist, financial, commercial and operational centers in Latin America. Foreign investment in Colombia, so far in 2021 increased by 66%, and the number of visa applications in Colombia only between the months of January to October 2020, exceeded 42 thousand visa applications for foreigners before the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia. This indicates that Colombia increasingly receives foreigners of all kinds who want to settle in Colombia temporarily or permanently, or simply stay for a period of time in our country thanks to the excellent commercial, tourist and security conditions that the national government has guaranteed.
This is how many foreigners wonder how to obtain a visa in Colombia, and for that reason we want to share this article as a guide to make the visa application process in Colombia and for our expert lawyers in Immigration Law in Colombia can advise you.
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How do I apply for VISA in Colombia?
To obtain a visa in Colombia you must take into account that there are general and specific requirements for each type of visa for foreigners depending on the purpose of the visit to Colombia. However, in order to obtain a visa in Colombia you must comply with some main requirements starting with a passport issued by your country of origin, which must have space for visa stamps and be in an acceptable and legible physical condition.
Additionally, to obtain a visa as a foreigner in Colombia you must fill out the visa application form and the documents that support your visa application cannot be older than 3 months from the date of issuance. Not forgetting that all documents accompanying your visa application in Colombia must be duly apostilled and in case they are in a foreign language, they must be translated by an official translator.
It is worth clarifying that if the visa is requested from Colombia, the applicant must be under a legal and regular migratory situation, this means that he/she has not exceeded the maximum stay time of 90 days depending on the Entry and Stay permit that he/she has, for those foreigners who do not need a visa due to their origin. Additionally, you must have entered the Colombian territory in a legal manner, for which you must have a stamp in your passport that proves your place and date of entry.
It should also be noted that the requirements to apply for a visa in Colombia will change depending on whether it is for a minor or if it is an application for a visa for foreigners in Colombia for a beneficiary.
What types of Visa exist in Colombia?
Depending on the intention of the visit and the intention to stay, visas in Colombia are classified in three (3) types, which are:
Visitor Visa or Type V
This visa applies to those visitors to Colombia who want to travel to Colombia on a temporary basis, that is, this type of visa is for those who do not want to settle permanently in Colombia, but allows them to perform various activities within the Colombian territory such as:
Academic studies or exchanges.
Organization of events.
Providing services on a temporary basis.
Resident Visa or Type R
This Colombian visa is created for those travelers who wish to live permanently in Colombia, but it will only be viable if the reasons for this intention of permanent residence are for the following reasons:
To make direct foreign investment in Colombia.
For having completed the process of renouncing the nationality of Colombia.
For having the time of permanence in our country in a regular and accumulated way.
For having a child of Colombian birth.
Visa for Migrant or Type M
This is one of the most requested types of visas in Colombia, and is designed for those travelers who intend to stay in Colombia for a certain period of time but with the intention of settling permanently in our country. This visa for foreigners applies to many situations of foreigners who wish to live in Colombia, such as:
For businessman, entrepreneur or investor.
To work in Colombia.
For pensioners, retirees or retired people.
For capital investors.
For investor in the real estate sector.
To practice an independent profession.
For spouse or partner of a Colombian citizen.
What are the most requested VISAS in Colombia?
Although the immigration situation of each person wishing to visit Colombia is particular, the following are the visas that are common among many migrants or travelers to Colombia:
Tourist Visa for Colombia.
The tourist visa for Colombia is designed for those foreigners who intend to visit Colombia on a temporary basis, i.e. it is a TYPE V visa for fun or to get to know the culture and historical or emblematic sites of our country, it is also intended for those who visit the country simply to see the natural attractions.
This type of visa for foreigners in Colombia may be granted for up to two years with a maximum stay of 180 days.
Business Visa in Colombia.
This type of visa is ideal for those people who want to stay in Colombia temporarily, it is also a TYPE V visa, oriented to those travelers who wish to perform one of the following activities in our territory must:
To make the formalities for the incorporation of a company.
To sign contracts.
Establish a distribution, representation or commercial agency.
Make arrangements to incorporate foreign direct investment.
Execute market research.
If you wish to contact our immigration attorneys, we invite you to request legal advice through the following Contact Form
or write directly to us at +57 310 5706331
Investor Visa in Colombia.
This kind of visa is included among the TYPE R visas in Colombia, and it is designed for those investors who through a direct foreign investment is higher than Six Hundred Fifty (650) Minimum Monthly Wages in Force, which corresponds to Five Hundred Ninety Million Five Hundred Forty One Thousand and One Thousand Nine Hundred Colombian Pesos (COP $590.541.900) which is equivalent to One Hundred Thirty Eight Thousand and Fifty American Dollars (USD $138.050) approximately according to the exchange rate of the corresponding date.
It is worth clarifying that this type of investment must be registered with the Bank of the Republic.
Partner or Company Owner Visa in Colombia.
This type of visa is designed for those foreigners who wish to create a company in Colombia participating in it as a partner or owner. This type of visa TYPE M requires that the demonstrated participation in the company corresponds to a minimum of one hundred (100) monthly minimum wages in force as of 2021, which corresponds to Ninety Million Eight Hundred Fifty Two Thousand Six Hundred Pesos (COP $90.852.600) which is equivalent to Twenty Three Thousand Four Hundred Fifty One American Dollars (USD $23,451) approximately according to the fluctuations of the corresponding exchange rate.
It is very important to mention that this type of visas for foreigners will require a letter of request where all the data of the company in which the applicant is a partner or owner is informed. For this purpose, the Colombian immigration authority will require the shareholding composition of the company showing the amount of participation of the visa applicant in Colombia.
Additionally, the immigration authority may request any information it deems necessary to demonstrate that the company of which it is a partner or owner in Colombia is real, for which it will require the document of incorporation of the company, bank statements and certifications, articles of incorporation of the company, among other documents.
To incorporate a company in Colombia
as a foreigner, our lawyers specialized in company incorporation will be able to provide you with the necessary information, however we invite you to read our blogs on How to incorporate or create a company in Colombia? in the following link
Work Visa for Colombia.
There are different types of work visas in Colombia which can be TYPE M (migrant) or TYPE V (Visitor) visas, among which we find:
For boat or coastal platform crew member.
For audiovisual or digital production.
For coverage as a member of the media or journalist.
To provide services of any kind on a temporary basis.
To be an employee of a company.
To work as a professional or freelance.
Each of these work visas have different requirements and characteristics, for example, the employee visa is designed for those persons who currently have signed or are going to sign an employment contract with a legally constituted company in Colombia, as long as the contract does not have a duration of less than one year. Although the employee visa may be granted for three years, this will depend on the duration of the employment contract.
In order to apply for a work visa, extensive legal documentation supporting the credibility of the company hiring the employee will be required.
Spouse or Permanent Partner Visa.
It is granted when a foreign immigrant is the spouse or permanent partner of a Colombian national. The main requirements are:
Original passport, valid and in good condition
Colombian citizenship card (ID) of the permanent Colombian spouse/partner.
Document that accredits the marital relationship.
Keep in mind that in some cases, the issuance of visas for foreigners by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs may allow the same authority to conduct interviews and request further documentation, in cases where it deems appropriate, in person or by a suitable means of communication.
In our law firm we provide advisory and representation services for multinational companies that permanently need to install foreign personnel in Colombia. However, we also provide services to foreign individuals who need to apply for a work visa in Colombia.
In conclusion, we can say that the Colombian immigration system has a wide variety of types and classes of visas as we have explained in this article. To expand this information we invite you to consult our content about visas for foreigners in Colombia and the types of visas a foreigner can apply for in Colombia. Content that we will be updating and expanding.
You can contact us at +57 310 5706331
or by filling out the following Contact Form
, we will be happy to assist you!
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